I’ve been working on my new young adult novel for just over a month now. I’ve come to a stand still at the minute because the idea has changed and reformed several times during the writing process and now I feel like I’ve hit a wall. I need to go back, make notes and add things in.
When I’m actually in the swing of it and surrounded by revision papers, I like it but I find that it’s the getting started part that sometimes takes a while (procrastination extraordinaire!) I have come to a pattern that really works for me through the editing process so I try to stick with it as much as possible.
- Print a copy of the manuscript so far. It’s just a draft copy so presentation isn’t too important and double sided works well.
- Make sure I have a notebook (usually the one I’ve been working on with the story) at hand to make notes as I go.
- A set of pens of different colours, using red to mark the mistakes and green for things I want to leave in (as you can guess, the red pen gets used more!)
- I always tend to find that setting aside a good chunk of time is a good idea as it means I can get as much done as possible in one setting.
- Edit! Edit! Edit!
The thing about the editing process is that you’ve worked so hard on what you’ve got and then you know that you have to get rid of a lot of it. A lot of it is very early rough draft stuff and sentences, paragraphs, even whole scenes are deleted but then you also see room for new scenes too. So in one way it can be quite difficult but in another, it’s a cathartic process and one which you know you’re improving.
When will I start editing? Hopefully today! If not, the next few days.